Today I went and had a workout. By myself. At a normal, commercial gym.
Sounds like a pretty normal thing for someone to do, right?
But actually it was a huge deal for me, and getting over what had actually become a pretty big fear around exercise over the years!
Whenever I’ve talked about working out before – I’ve always advised this to my Goddesses:
If you’re having to force yourself to do it, don’t.
Find something else instead.
Meaning: If you hate the gym, do something else. A yoga class, swimming, boxing, running. Whatever it is – just move your body in a way that feels good for you. Don’t force yourself to do the stuff you hate. Find something else instead. After all, the people who get the best results are the ones who actually enjoy their choice of workout.
BUT… I want to put this to you, and share a bit more about my thoughts around ‘the gym’…
Years ago, when I was struggling with my food and body image issues most, I used to go to a commercial gym and slog it out on the treadmill for ages. I would monitor my calories religiously, weigh myself constantly and push push push ’til I was ready to collapse. No question, it was grim.
When I was introduced to CrossFit I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. No machines, no calorie tracking, always a coach guiding you through the class and pushing you, and you’re not judged on your body at all – CrossFit is all about your strength, your performance, and your endurance.
And Yoga, well – that’s always been my love. I’ll never stop yoga-ing, ever. I’ll be 90 and still be doing those vinyasas.
So, for the last few years, my workouts have been either Yoga or CrossFit. That’s just the way it’s been. I dip in and out of them both whenever I feel like it. And I love them both dearly.
But in both scenarios you’re being guided through the class by a coach or instructor.
I recently realised, that because of all these years ‘avoiding’ normal gyms, it meant that whenever I was on holiday, or staying at a hotel, I would never use the gym. I wouldn’t. And I genuinely just couldn’t.
Instead, I would go out of my way to try and find a CrossFit box instead, which in a foreign country is often a mission in itself. I would have genuinely rather trekked an hour to find a CrossFit box, than use the hotel gym where I was staying. Madness!!
To add to that – within the CrossFit world there’s a definite feel of ‘We are superior to commercial gyms’.
So that feeling of being ‘better than’, coupled with the fact that I genuinely did not know how to USE any of the machines in a normal gym anymore, meant that I had been developing this ‘thing’ around going and working out by myself, without a coach or trainer, in a gym. I was pretty terrified about it.
Plenty of the rest of the world manages it, but somehow I couldn’t. I had separated myself and made a ‘thing’ out of it. As our ego loves to do.
I was also telling myself the story (often relayed in the CrossFit world) of “Who wants to go to the gym and put their headphones in and just ignore everyone?”
Well, it turns out actually, sometimes I DO!
Sure, I love the class environment, I love the social aspect of CrossFit and making friends when you’re training is great.
But if I’ve had a crazy day at work and all I want to do is switch off? I’ll gladly put my headphones in, thanks.
I love having a coach motivate me, and I love knowing that when a class it’s over, I can go home for the night.
But there’s a lot to be said for having the self motivation to push yourself, on your own – AND – and this is a big one for me – doing it on YOUR OWN TIME, not having to wait for a class to start.
With my work, my schedule never looks the same.
Each day my hours are completely different. I like it that way.
Today it looked like this – clients in the morning, clients in the evening. Big gap in the middle of the day for me to go workout.
BUT – no classes on in the middle of the day – anywhere!
So I decided today was the day that I would go workout.
AT A COMMERCIAL (GLOBO) GYM.
Honestly I am laughing at myself when I write this and how silly it sounds, but I had built it up to be such a big deal in my head.
At first, it was weird and nerve-wracking for me. I grabbed a trainer and made her show me a ton of exercises to do, and write out a quick rep scheme so I wasn’t blindly wandering around like a deer in headlights.
Memories from when I used to be obsessed with pounding the treadmill looking at calories, reared their head – but I realised I was so far past that now, that it didn’t even phase me.
I ran on the treadmill. I saw the calories. And I. Did. Not. Care. One. Inch. I also did TRX, press ups, a bunch of ab stuff, and weighted lunges.
And the most amazing thing happened.
I actually enjoyed it!! (Eureka moment!)
So my question to you is this:
Is there is a workout you fear doing because of a past experience or memory?
Are you ready to OUT yourself?
Are you ready to stop avoiding it, and actually tackle your fear head on, like a challenge?
Your biggest growth always comes from tackling the things you fear the most.
I talk a lot about self love and nurturing yourself, and forgiving yourself always.
But I also think there’s a lot to be said for recognising where your challenges lie, and tackling them with a bit of self discipline too.
If you never finished that 10k, and it’s left you with a fear or ’stories’ around running. Go do 10 minutes of running.
Go tackle that fear.
Maybe it’s a fear of swimming, because of being in a costume?
Go do 10 lengths. And realise that nobody’s looking at you or judging you at all – people are too wrapped up in their own worlds!
Be your own cheerleader – don’t molly coddle yourself.
Cheer yourself on and give yourself the pep talks.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and see what happens.
There’s usually a ton of good stuff there waiting for you.
I’m cheering you on –